If you can’t make it to New Orleans for an authentic shrimp po’boy, don’t worry — this recipe is the second best! Piled high with crispy fried shrimp on crusty baguette spread with a tangy, tangy mayo, it’s the ultimate dinner sandwich that tastes as good as cheeseburgers and hoagies. If you are a fan of shrimp recipes, this is definitely one to try!
Why is it called a po’boy?
Shortened from “poor boy,” the name po’boy came to be associated with this delicious sandwich when it became famous during a New Orleans streetcar conductor’s strike in the late 1920s. Originally intended as an inexpensive lunch that would spice up leftover bread with flavorful toppings, po’boys — especially shrimp po’boys — have grown in popularity since their humble beginnings.
What’s on a po’boy?
While oyster po’boys and roast beef po’boys with “debris” (gravy) are delicious, it’s hard to beat a po’boy loaded with golden fried shrimp. It can be difficult to find authentic, crusty yet tender po’boy bread outside of New Orleans (pro tip: You can often find similar breads in Vietnamese supermarkets), but you can substitute French bread (the soft kind, not baguettes) . Aside from the crispy fried shrimp, po’boys are loaded with shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and of course that special sauce.
What’s in po’boy sauce?
This po’boy sauce is based on a French-Cajun classic, remoulade. It’s super easy to make – just spice up your favorite mayonnaise with some Creole seasoning and mustard, along with capers, hot sauce, horseradish, lemon, garlic and a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce. Like everything Cajun, it’s full of flavor and delicious with any kind of seafood, or for dipping chips!
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For the sauce:
coarse grain or Creole mustard
capers, drained and finely chopped
For the sandwich:
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
hoagie buns or 6-inch pieces of baguette, split lengthwise
shredded iceberg lettuce
tomatoes, thinly sliced
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- For the sauce: Stir the mayonnaise, mustard, capers, hot sauce, lemon juice, horseradish, Creole seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a medium bowl until well blended. Put aside.
- For the sandwich: In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1-inch oil over medium-high to 375°. Place the buttermilk in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and Creole seasoning. Dip the prawns in batches in the buttermilk so that the excess can drip off. Toss the shrimp in the cornmeal and shake off the excess.
- Working in batches, cook shrimp until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Season with salt.
- Brush the cut sides of the buns with the sauce. Garnish evenly with shredded lettuce, tomato slices, pickle, and fried shrimp. Serve with hot sauce and the remaining sauce on the side, if you like.
Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the oil temperature when frying the shrimp, and adjust the stove heat if necessary.
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